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Newsletter, January 2004 (Issue 154)

Letter to the Editor

From Ken Nichols

The article "Sign o'the Times" touched on a subject close to my heart - too many road signs, the way in which they are growing ever larger and the fact that temporary signs never seem to be removed. I call it "Sign Pollution". Can there not be a survey to see which signs really do inform and which could be scrapped? The siting of signs seems only to be decided by the criterion "Can the motorist see it from 400 yards away?" ignoring the fact that it masks some beautiful view or building. The pedestrian or cyclist is not taken into account, or even more importantly the blind, partially sighted, the disabled or mums with push chairs. So let's hope for an initiative to clear our streets of clutter.

The other observation I would Jike to make is that wonderful though the development of the dock is, can we hope for a landmark building that will be so powerfully designed that people will identify it as being the Ipswich Waterside, rather than the whole quayside being developed and then only looking like a river frontage anywhere in Europe.

From Chris Mole, MP for Ipswich

You asked in Snippets (2) [October Newsletter] does anyone know what the reasons are for the Government's new restrictions on kitchen waste being included in compost recycling schemes.

A scientific study by DEFRA had been commissioned to look at the risk of pathogens finding their way from kitchen waste into the food chain. This followed the BSE and Foot and Mouth outbreaks and the concern that contaminated meat had been discarded and found its way into livestock feed.

The study is flawed in my view, and that of the Composting Association (CA), in that it assumes firstly that 10% of household kitchen waste is meat, and secondly it applies solutions more appropriate to abattoirs than composting plants. In an attempt to keep pathogens "off the fields" the Government has placed stringent restrictions that composting, plants such as that operated by Anglia Water/Ipswich Borough Council may not be able to meet. Hence the local ban.

A lot depends on the implementation of the regulations by the State Veterinary Service and I am talking to the CA about how we ensure DEFRA reviews the impact of its guidelines in order to allow composting and recycling to move forward once again.

From Annie Merry, Recycling Officer,
Waste Management Services, Ipswich Borough Council

I am writing in response to the item in the October Newsletter regarding "redundant small brown bins" and hope to answer the questions raised. Ipswich Borough Council's brown bin scheme was launched in 1998 to collect kitchen and garden waste for recycling. The scheme has proved extremely popular with Ipswich residents and continues to be well used despite recent changes to collections necessitated by the Animal By-Products Order.

This Order was issued by DEFRA in the interests of animal health and came into force in July 2003. The Order requires Ipswich Borough Council and other councils in the UK to comply with new regulations regarding the composting of catering or food waste. Ipswich Borough Council is currently exploring the possibility of utilising funds from DEFRA in order to comply with the regulations and resume the collection of food waste.

However, we do recognise there is competition for DEFRA funding and the funds were oversubscribed last year. In the meantime we are continuing to investigate all options to resume the collection of non-animal food waste and therefore encourage residents to keep their small brown bins.

From Tom Gondris

I refer to John Norman's feature on Parking Problems in the October Newsletter. I am afraid John is wrong in thinking that parking on footpaths is not allowed in London. The lower part of Broomwood Road on The Avenue, Clapham Common, is used for short term metered parking with cars encouraged to utilise half the pavement width, the individual car spaces being marked on the pavement and road.

I have no idea how general this policy is, and it may be limited to a particular London borough - I think Battersea in this case. This is an area of terrace housing, with minimal car parking facilities.


The Editor apologises to Don Skeates for misquoting his letter in the October Newsletter. Mr Skeates recafled seeing this play at the old Lyceum Theatre in about 19-36 when (it should have read) "unemployment was high." Members must have thought it was a strange distortion of economic history to associate the 1930s with high employment!

From Pat Read

I noted with interest Pat Gondris's remark about the pineapples on the gateposts to Christchurch Park in Soane Street. I had been watching with great interest the workman rebuilding the pillars at the Bolton Lane entrance to the park, and was finally able to say, "How good it looks, having the pineapples back again." To which he indignantly replied, "They're not pineapples, they're artichokes." So I took photographs of both, to compare, and I guess he's correct! [Editor What do readers think? This is in Soane Street on left: Bolton Lane on right.]

    Front cover of issue 154 Cover, issue 154

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